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Backchannels

Linguists first used the term backchannel to refer to the spontaneous responses and signals that provide interactivity to what is only apparently a one-way communication. Social media users have adopted the term to refer to the unofficial, multi-directional online conversation that parallels formal academic exchange at a lecture or conference. The Backchannels blog is intended to have a similar relationship to scholarly discourse in STS. It provides an outlet for alternative-format scholarly communications, publishing shorter, timelier, media-rich communiques of interest to the global STS community. The editors welcome proposed contributions.

Hacia la consolidación de los estudios CTS en chile: II encuentro chileno de estudios sociales de la

Report-backs / Ronald Cancino & Helder Binimelis

title Social and Political Studies of Science, Technology and Society in Chile are in the process of steadily growing. At present, there are recognizable research groups in the country, nestled in prestigious universities, creating networks, emerging research centers in various subjects and spaces for meeting and debate. STS studies in Chile have been meeting over 2 large spaces: the Working Group "Sociology of Science and Technology" of the Chilean Congress of Sociology, and the meetings of the CTS-Chile Network. The latter comes after the First Meeting held at the Universidad Alberto Hurtado in Santiago de Chile in early 2014. Both the CTS Chile Network as the annual meetings seek greater presence and visibility to a growing body of research in the field of STS in the country.

Ciencia, ciudadanía y experticia en la Evaluación de Impactos Ambientales

Report-backs / Gloria Baigorrotegui

title On Monday July 13 STS researchers sensitive to issues related to environmental activism came together to present some of the results of their research. This happened in a setting that gathered public policy officers and citizens in general. The seminar and symposium was entitled "Science, citizenship and expertise in Environmental Impact Assessment. A dialogue increasingly mure nurtured?. It was held in the hall Presidents ex- National Congress in Santiago de Chile.

Roundtable Report: Who Needs Visual Anthropology?

Report-backs / Rebeca Ibáñez Martín

title A productive debate would be one in which visual anthropology is discussed for its theoretical effects and potentialities. Otherwise, visual anthropology will get lost again in a "reality debate": Are we representing reality or not? Are we fair and accurate in representing the reality of the other? Such debate ends up in another even more complicated debate, that between us and them. The question of who is representing whom has been discussed in postcolonial studies of film for many decades and in sharp terms.

REDPOP – EL ENCUENTRO LATINO

Report-backs / Claudia Aguirre

title Between may 24 and 29 this year, took place in Medellin, Colombia, the XIV Congress of the Network of Popularization of science in Latin America and the Caribbean (RedPOP). This network was created in 1990 in Rio de Janeiro to promote the field communication of science at that time made a timid appearance in Latin America. Claudia Aguirre shares a report back of the event.

Expandindo fronteiras: V Reunião de Antropologia da Ciência e da Tecnologia

Report-backs / Guilherme Sá

title The Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) - Porto Alegre (RS) - received from May 20-22 , 2015 the V Anthropology Meeting of Science and Technology, or, simply put, the V ReACT, as already known the main meeting of anthropologists researching and discussing science and technology in Brazil (Entry in Portuguese)

How the Ocean Cleanup Array Fundamentally Misunderstands Marine Plastics and Causes Harm

Reflections / Max Liboiron

title The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The Ocean Cleanup array, designed to clean plastics from the ocean like a baleen whale, is one of these good intentions: experts in marine plastics, including myself, say it’s a bad idea.Technological fixes like the Array do harm to the larger project of ending plastic pollution, which is a complex social, environmental, and economic problem. It is also going to damage and kill marine life.

Diásporas, Espacios Híbridos y Redes Corpusculares. Presentación de la Red Española de Estudios Soci

Reflections / Maria González Aguado

title The Spanish Network of Science & Technology Studies (Red esCTS) is a precarious, immaterial and fluid locus where almost two hundred students, activists, artists, researchers and “affected citizens” collaboratively re-think, experiment with and push STS forward.

Disaster Mobilities: Staying in the Trouble

Projects / Katrina Petersen

title To illustrate the complexities of entanglements between human, technology, and world that STS theory highlights, three projects at Lancaster University facilitate collective embodied engagement and experience.

Primer Coloquio Colombiano de Estudios Sociales de la Ciencia y la tecnología

Report-backs / Yuri Jack Gómez-Morales

title This field of STS is not new in Colombia; starting at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in the early 1990s the number of practitioners has increased in recent years in several epicentres across the nation. Colombian practitioners regularly attend international conferences abroad such as the 4S, EASST, and ESOCITE conferences, the CYTED meetings, the summer schools for postgraduates, and the RICyT congress. Paradoxically, there are few local opportunities for extending academic and research contacts among practitioners and schools. The goal of the First National STS Workshop was precisely tackling this paradox by putting together colleagues from all around the country in Bogotá in April 2015. (Entry in Spanish and English)

The Science of Science Maps

Reflections / Isabella E. Wagner

title In scientometrics, visualisations perform in a political environment since they form a colourful reality of an abstract construct that is a product of a long series of previous representation and translation steps

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Reflections

African cities in the changing global landscape
Silenced Issues 5| Coming to Terms with the Colorblindness of Contemporary STS
Engendering Alice and Bob
The Space Between with Elina Mäkinen

Report-backs

Public Health in the Calais Refugee Camp: Environment, Health and Exclusion
Building STS Programs: Notes From an Initial Meeting
Segundo Coloquio colombiano en estudios sociales de la ciencia: hacer la paz en un mundo posverdad
Describing and intervening: Exploring the plurality of STS in India

Projects

The Third Year of #QueerSTS4S and Call for 2018 Organizers
Dis—ease with X and Y: Disclosing Digital Sociology
How migrant registration infrastructures co-produce citizens, institutions and territory
Developing New STS Minors: The Case of Cal Poly

Reviews

Book Review: Cotton and Race Across the Atlantic: Britain, Africa, and America, 1900-1920
Renewable energy for STS scholarship: the Handbook of Science and Technology Studies
Betwixt and Between Augmentation and Automation: Some Reflections after Watching “Sully”
‘Hard’ Surveillance and ‘Soft’ Surveillance: The Quantified Self at Work

Backchannels Editors

Steven Jackson, Chair, 4S Web Committee

Steven Jackson, Conferences, journals, and events

Assistant Editors: Aleka Gurel, Yelena Gluzman

Gloria Baigorrotegui, Reviews, reblogs, and STS commentary from Asia, Africa & Latin America

Assistant Editors: Fredy Mora-Gámez, Prince Guma, Joseph Satish

Amanda Windle, Reviews, reblogs, and STS commentary from North America, Europe, and Australia

Assistant Editors: Leo Matteo Bachinger, Madeleine Pape

Anita Chan, Conference Blog Editor

For contact information, see the Editorial Guidelines page.